A sign stands at a business on the Outer Banks in Avon, N.C., on Aug. 24. Alan Fram/AP
The sign at Whalebone Surf Shop in Nags Head, N.C., asks Irene to go offshore as the hurricane threatened the barrier islands on Aug. 25. Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot/AP
A woman carries her baby past a sign on a boarded-up restaurant in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., on Aug. 25. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
A sign reads 'Ready for Irene' in Frisco on Hatteras Island in the North Carolina Outer Banks on Aug. 25. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
Contents from a home flooded by Hurricane Irene sit in the front yard with a warning sign in Washingtonville, N.Y., on Aug. 31. Paul Kazdan/AP
Passersby walk by a restaurant with windows boarded up with plywood in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, on Aug. 27. Steven Senne/AP
A sign announcing a sale on 'I Survived Irene' T-shirts stands in front of a souvenir shop along a deserted street in Nag's Head in the North Carolina Outer Banks on Aug. 26. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
A sign is on display at a sandwich shop in Frisco on Hatteras Island in the North Carolina Outer Banks on Aug. 25. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
A parody of the song 'Come On Eileen' by Dexy's Midnight Runners is written on a wall near Ocean City, Md., on Aug. 28. Zhang Jun/Newscom
A sign offers hot showers at the Country Animal Hospital to all affected residents in Bethel, Vt., on Aug. 31. Toby Talbot/AP
A man puts up a sign after attaching plywood to windows for protection against the winds at his business in Hoboken, N.J., on Aug. 27. Kena Betancur/Reuters
The US will see nine to 15 tropical storms and four to eight of those will become hurricanes, says NOAA in its 2012 Atlantic hurricane forecast. It's a 'near normal' year. Only one to three will likely become major, Category 3, hurricanes.
ByJane Sutton, Reuters
AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND
The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season will be "near normal" with nine to 15 tropical storms and four to eight of those will strengthen into hurricanes, the U.S. government weather agency predicted on Thursday.